Tag Archives: California Legislature

California Legislators go to Washington

We talk a lot about the state legislature, and I’ve written a few times about redistricting, and its effects. One of the things that I find so interesting is how legislators move around, jumping from local officials, to the legislature, sometime serving in statewide office, and sometimes running for congressional seats. The start of the 113th Congress is a good example of that.

On January 3, the 113th Congress was sworn in. With it, 82 freshman members from all over the country. That means that of the 435 members that serve in Congress, almost 19% of them were new. Compared to other years, this seems right in line (there were 93 in the freshman class of the 112th Congress and 65 in the freshman class of the 111th Congress), but what is noteworthy is the California delegation. This year the California delegation experienced the highest turnover it’s had in 20 years according to a Los Angeles Times article.

Of those 82 new faces in DC, 14 of them are from California. According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, this higher than normal turnover in the California delegation is due to “retirements, redistricting, and the new ‘top-two’ election rules.” What is even more impressive is that of those 14 new Congress Members, nine of them previously served in the California legislature as Senators and/or Assembly Members. Read More »

Post-Election Craziness!

After the election in November I was full of excitement, I loved looking at the rare outcomes that were produced by redistricting and the new top two primary system that was used in June primary. But now that we are a month and a half after the election, that excitement has worn off some.

As I sought out resources to help me provide you all with the most accurate information on the election, I began to realize that the normal resources we use were themselves struggling to produce accurate information! Because of the slew of close races and redistricting, information was slow to be made available, and often times combined a mixture of old and new district details. From the odd collection of legislators listed on the Assembly’s official website during the first day of session in December to the difficulties with some official websites in simply figuring out which counties were in each district, it was clear that this election created a plethora of additional challenges. Read More »

Election Day is Never Boring!

Election Day is like my Super bowl. I settle in for the night to watch the talking heads analyze and dissect every single vote and what it means. This year’s election held even more excitement for the true political nerds out there. This was the first election with our new districts as organized by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission and the first election using our top two primary system , leaving the outcome of California Senate and Assembly races unpredictable.

Heading into the election, there was a lot of buzz around the Democrats obtaining the rare “supermajority” in the Senate. A supermajority means that one party has two–thirds of the seats in the house (that’s 54 seats in the Assembly and 27 seats in the Senate) giving them the power to pass special types of legislation, such as a tax, other urgency measures, and allow them to override a gubernatorial veto. Prior to the election, the dreams of Democrats for a supermajority in the Senate seemed within reach, but a supermajority in the Assembly seemed much further off. Read More »

A number that reflects more than just one story

Sharing your personal story with your legislator is a good way to build a relationship. And with District Days approaching (September 17-21), there’s no better time to start thinking about the story you want to share when you meet with your legislators in their district offices.

To help get you excited about sharing your story, we asked four I&E Workgroup Members to share theirs on our blog. Over the next month, we will post one story each week in our “What’s Your Number?” blog series.

This week we hear from Nicole Coxe from Santa Clara County.

Nicole Coxe, Tobacco-Free Coalition chair Dr. Roger Kennedy & Senator Corbett's Legislative Aide

As a participant in the 2012 Tobacco Information and Education (I&E) Days in Sacramento, I was asked to choose a number that represented my story, my community or program’s story to share with my Legislator that would highlight why tobacco prevention efforts are valuable. I was torn between choosing a number that related to my personal story or to our program work, so I chose both. Read More »

From the Halls of the Capitol to City Hall – Legislators Run for Local Office

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times highlights the importance of maintaining strong connections  with your state legislators. We have all heard the stories of Assembly Members and Senators, who term out and move on to higher office. It always seems a bit of a surprise when they return back to local office, but this is a growing trend with our current state Senate and Assembly Members.

According to the August 5th LA Times article, “Sacramento becomes a steppingstone to L.A. City Hall” term limits have had the unintended outcome of encouraging more Senators and Assembly Members to return to local office. There are four current Assembly Members running for Los Angeles city council; Assembly Member Bob Blumenfield is the most recent to throw his hat into the ring, running for a West San Fernando Valley seat. Other Assembly Members are Mike Davis, Felipe Fuentes, and Gil Cedillo. All these Assembly Members are facing the end of their term in the Assembly, as a result of term limits. Read More »